A FIVE-star show is headed to the Eastgate Theatre in Peebles at the end of February as part of a national tour.
‘Performing Piaf’ was given the rare top rating during its sell-out Fringe show last summer by The Scotsman, which described the show as “an intense hour” featuring songs and stories of the tragic French singer, Edith Piaf, pictured top of page.
Glasgow-born Christine Bovill aims not to impersonate Piaf, but to emanate her tragic energy and turbulent life through the show.
First given a Piaf record at the age of 14, Christine immediately fell in love with ‘the little sparrow’s’ vibrato vocals.
She told TheSouthern ahead of her Peebles gig that “Piaf has shaped my whole life”.
Throughout her student days, Christine sang in jazz clubs across Glasgow and became well known on the scene for her distinct and sultry voice.
Her music career has already seen the singer-songwriter produce the folk Americana album, Derby Street, with a second one in the works.
“I have to be very careful about not letting my music become all about Piaf,” she said. “She has greatly influenced me, but I’m not aiming to do a Stars in Their Eyes kind of thing. I sound nothing like her.”
In fact, what makes the show such an unlikely pursuit for Christine is her non-showbiz-like approach to music and to the show itself.
“The show is not about gimmicks,” she explained. “This is quite ironic considering that Piaf was the embodiment of living entirely for a showbusiness career. Her life was almost cinematic.
“The aspect most popular with audiences are the translations of the lyrics from French, and the explanations about the lyrics – this helps the audience connect with the songs more.”
The show is a personal narrative, connecting Christine’s journey and Piaf’s world, the reviewers say, as they rave about Christine’s talent.
“The show was a huge gamble – we had no idea how it was going to turn out.
“We took the risk, and to our surprise it ended up in the top recommended in the Fringe Music guide and we were completely sold out by the Tuesday.
“The reviews were kind, but it was a deserving moment for me.”
For one night only, the show will be visiting Peebles to give the Border town a taste of Piaf, and an experience of one of the top shows of last summer’s Edinburgh Fringe.
“I absolutely love Peebles – it’s like a little escape,” Christine added, “I cannot wait to play there.”
Performing Piaf is showing at the Eastgate on February 25.
Tickets are available from the Eastgate Theatre on 01721 725785.